How long should you take to write an application for a job? Well, if it’s a job you badly want and you are qualified for it, I’d say a good application takes no less than three days.
Today’s job market is highly competitive and you should not take a chance with your application.
Within three days, you can make some research on the company and write a good CV and cover letter for the job. A Curriculum Vitae (CV) is the document that talks to employers about you in your absence. It is your advertisement because you are marketing a product – yourself.
A good CV impresses the employer by answering the question: why should we hire you? Avoid lying on your CV as this will have negative effects on your reputation and career. Make it no more than 3 pages although 2 pages is the standard.
An effective CV boosts your chances of getting a job and being paid more. With an effectively designed CV, you come across as a reliable professional who can make a difference in the organization.
Before designing your CV for a particular job, research deeply on the target organization and then use your strengths to design a CV that will meet the expectations of that employer.
Remember that your CV should be appealing to read so avoid crowding it too much. Also make similar fields uniform, for example if you decided to bold all job positions, do that for all of them. Ensure your CV is error free – get someone to edit and remove all grammatical and typing errors.
Always give contact details that work. Imagine the frustration of an employer calling you and the phone is answered by your cousin who has no idea how serious the call is. Avoid giving contacts of emails that you do not read often.
When describing your achievements use active instead of passive verbs. Instead of just listing responsibilities, give specifics. What results did you achieve? How much sales did you bring? How many people did you lead?
Use a good laser jet printer to produce a high quality document. Usually use common fonts such as Times, Georgia or Book Antiqua, size 12.
Use 1.5 inches spacing between lines and use good quality white paper (photocopy paper will do). If you are applying for senior positions, use white conqueror paper for your application. For senior and academic positions, make sure that you include details of your publications and high level assignments that you have undertaken.
Put work experience section before education: Actually it should be name and contacts, career aim, experience, accomplishments, education and the referees. Do not put personal information unless it is asked for.
A CV is not complete without a good cover letter which should be a good reason for someone to read your CV. Employers find it irritating to read a cover letter that repeats what is in the CV.
Your letter should be to the point and should answer the question; why are you the right candidate for this job?
A strong cover letter appeals the employer to read your CV – where you have a chance to show specifics on why they should hire you. A good combination of letter and CV will impress the employer, and most likely result in a job interview.
Edwin Maina is a professional writer